Scenes end up not making the final cut of a film for all sorts of different reasons. Rarely, however, do significant actors find their entire cameo moment on the cutting room floor. However, that's exactly what happened to Stephen Merchant, who was going to appear in Beauty and the Beast but had his entire role excised from the movie. It may have been for the best, it was an odd role. He played the toilet.
Deleted scenes are always one of the more interesting parts of any Blu-Ray movie release and this is no less true for Disney's live-action version of Beauty and the Beast. The disc contains a number of interesting scenes that were not used, but there are two scenes that are of particular note. Both scenes take place during the tail end of the film. In the first, during the battle between the townspeople and the enchanted objects of the castle, Le Fou is looking for a place to hide from the battle when he ducks into a side room and closes the door. As it turns out, he's found the bathroom. It also turns out that the toilet is one of the enchanted objects. The toilet begins to move in place and laugh. Le Fou realizes what's happening and starts to use an expletive that is appropriate considering his location. Then we cut to the hall outside the room (before Le Fou has a chance to finish swearing) to see him running out screaming.
It's not too shocking to see why this scene may have been cut. The literal toilet humor feels out of place with the rest of the movie. It's just not where the film found its jokes previously and having this scene show up at the end feels strange. The near swearing, while funny, also doesn't fit with the rest of the film, as the language never gets close to anything else like that. It also brings up an infinite number of questions about how the enchantment works in the movie that we really don't want to be asking.
However, cutting the Le Fou/toilet scene meant that another scene had to go. After the curse has been lifted Le Fou is exiting the castle when he comes upon a man, soaking wet, and looking like, well, shit. Le Fou wonders aloud what the terrible smell is before he realizes the man he's standing next to is the human form of the toilet he had previously encountered. And as it turns out, it's Stephen Merchant. Le Fou tries to make small talk, asking the man what he's going to do with himself now. The response?
Since the toilet doesn't really speak in the earlier scene, there's no indication that this character is one might recognize, as is the case with the rest of the enchanted objects. Seeing Stephen Merchant is a funny moment all to itself. While cutting the earlier scene makes sense, it's unfortunate that it meant this latter scene also had to go, because it's pretty good.
You can check out this, and other deleted scenes from Beauty and the Beast on the Blu-Ray disc, which is now available.
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